Monday, November 30, 2009

No more "I'm too old" excuses people!

Last week I teamed up with my good fiend and fellow trainer Jim Bathurst to help Bob Vastine celebrate his 72nd birthday by lifting 50,000 pounds of weight in 1 hour.  He would be doing so with two lifts: the rack pull (a raised deadlift), and the bench press.

For only three weeks prior to this event did Jim and I work with Bob to prepare.  He had been working with Jim on mobility and some pretty intense stretching, while with me, he worked on light conditioning, stability and some basic strength work.  After we went back and forth on some different ideas (last year he pulled the car for his 71st), we decided on this challenge, something that we all thought would be very tough and pretty damn impressive as well.  So we got to preparing.

It was a rough start.  On day one, to see where he stood on the rack pull, we used 185lbs and were only able to make it through 6 rounds before we had to hang it up and get on the mat to stretch out.  Bob was mostly struggling with the conditioning aspect of this style of lifting.  Holding the world record in his age group for deadlift (450lbs) and bench (285lbs), he really is used to just moving a crazy heavy load no more than a few times and taking a nice long recovery.  This was a whole different monster.

Jim and I geeked out with the numbers and calculated that he would need to perform 15 sets of a 185 rack pull and a 135 bench press with a 60 second rest between exercises and a 30 second prep time for each as well.  This would leave him about 500lbs shy of the goal weight at 60 minutes.  So, with training, keeping a close eye on the heart rate the entire time (we didn't want to see that thing get too far over 145, pretty high to sit for an extended period for a 72 year old), we worked to find ways to shave off rest time.  We were skeptical on raising the weight because we did not in any way want to compromise his form and risk injury.

After some concern and talking about adding time to have it performed in 72 minutes, we decided to just get after it.  And on Tuesday, November 24th, Bob came in to get after it.  With a select few people cheering him on, Bob put on an incredibly impressive display, keeping great rhythm, perfect posture all around and in the end, here's what he finished with:

54 minutes
53,800 total pound lifted.

He looked so good in fact, after 11 rounds Jim and I added 10lbs to each lift for 6 solid more rounds.  Great work Bob!  You continue to be an inspiration to me and to so many others.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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